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The world needs “Chronicles of Amber”


Roger Zelazny took off into the science fiction scene in the 1960s with a groundbreaking series of stories that combined a pulpy feel with a prose full of pyrotechnics. One of his admirers is writer F. Brett Cox, who just posted a the book About the author.

Cox says in episode 467 of A Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “In my fairy tale, it could be said that I spent my entire career just trying to write something that would influence anyone as strongly as the last sentence of A rose for the university It affected me the first time I read it. “

In the 1970s and 1980s, Zelazny achieved massive success with his 10 volume books Amber A series, but critics felt that the tale of the sword and sorcery was a waste of his talents. Cox believes that the critical consensus is about Amber It is, at best, an oversimplification.

“There is often a gap between what we want literature to do as academics or critics and what literature actually does,” he says. “And I think that Amber The series is a very good example of what literature can actually do. It gives readers a world in which to lose themselves and be a part of it. It just binds them. “

And although Zelazny’s critical reputation may have waned over the years, his energetic and fun storytelling style has had a major impact on many generations of fiction writers. Cox says, “I quote some younger writers at the end of the book about how Zelzny influences their work, and I know very well that he’s with at least one of them, maybe all of them, Amber The gate was – the Amber The books are what brought them to it. “

Zelazny is still mostly unknown outside the realm of science fiction, but Cox hopes the movie or TV will make him a household name, as happened with Zelazny’s close friend George R.R. Martin.

“A few years ago there was now Modern Who did Robert Kirkman the walking DeadHe wanted to do a mini-series from Amber Days NewsCox says. “So there were hints that this might lead to a kind of greater awareness.”

Listen to the full interview with F. Brett Cox in episode 467 of A Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some of the highlights in the discussion below.

Brett Cox, on the character of Zelazni:

“[Zelazny] Always linked to Samuel R. Delany, he was also a close friend of Harlan Ellison. It’s an interesting contradiction, because they were very powerful and well-known contemporaries. Of course we all know how much Harlan Ellison has written about himself, and Delaney has written extensively. But Zelzny did not. … I spoke to people, as much as I could, who knew Zelzny – who was among the people I knew or could reach, and it was really an amazing global consensus on how much I respect him personally. Nobody had a bad word to say about him, and it was so good to know. But many people noticed that, as the saying goes, he kept to himself. There was always a little distance there. “

Brett Cox on Zelzny’s critique:

“In terms of individual studies on Zelazny, he was there in early time From Carl Yoke, who was a longtime academic of science fiction studies and was also a close friend of Zelazny – they grew up together in Ohio. And then there was Krulik bookAnd then there was Lindskold Book. There is a quote by Lindskold in her introduction to one of the NESFA Press volumes Stories collectedAnd her assertion that Zelzny wrote some sword and sorcery tales that seem more traditional because he loved those things. Growing up reading it, he genuinely loved that particular branch of genre fiction, and wrote it because he wanted it. “

Brett Cox on Literary Reputation:

“The issue of literary reputation is infinitely complex and endlessly fascinating.… Surely Bradbury is still a science fiction writer that people know even if they don’t read science fiction, and Philip K. Deak has joined that company as well. I looked at [Zelazny’s] Contemporaries, people like Delaney, like Ursula Le Gwen, like Joanna Ross, like JG Ballard, [they all] He earned a reputation outside of science fiction – Michael Murcock is well known in contemporary British literature – and Zelzny didn’t really do it. And I don’t have a specific answer for that. “

Brett Cox, on Zelzny and Murcock:

When Morcuk was adjusting New worlds And they sequenced Norman Spinrad’s novel Jack Barron’s bug, Was denounced in Parliament for posting obscene material. Zelzny has fallen into that, too. Spread a little Creatures of light and darkness at New worldsAnd some of his short novels are there. It was a very interesting moment in the correspondence I read in the libraries between Zelzny and Morcock where Morcock was just saying, “Give me more.” write something.’ It’s amazing how other writers of his day viewed his work, and how other writers in the 1960s were totally amazed at what he was doing. “


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